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Like most states, Texas has a point system for traffic violations however that is where the similarity ends. Most states assign a point value based on the severity of the offense earning a driver anywhere from 2 to 6 points depending on the offense. If you earn so many points in a specific period, your license may be suspended.

Points - The Texas point system is quite simple:
  • Every moving offense as defined by Texas law that a driver earns in Texas or another state will receive 2 points.
  • A moving offense that results in a crash earns 3 points.
  • Points are not assessed for speeding less than 10% over the posted speed limit or for seat belt violations.
  • Child safety seat violations will earn 2 points.
Points will remain on your driving record for a period of three years.

Surcharges

Just as in any other state, once a driver goes to court for these offenses they may be fined, have their license suspended or revoked and may have to pay fees to get their license reinstated. Where the Texas point system differs from most other states is the point surcharge system.

Texas requires drivers to pay an annual surcharge if they earn 6 or more points in a three year period. The surcharge is reviewed annually and if a driver continues to earn points the surcharge goes up.

For example:

A driver earns 6 points within a three year period and is assessed a $100 surcharge. If the driver continues to accumulate points, he or she will receive an additional $25 surcharge for every point over the original 6 points. A driver who continues to earn points each year will see his or her annual surcharge increase and it will continue until there are no longer 6 accumulated points on the driving record within a 3 year period.

Certain serious offenses such as a DUI do not earn points but are assessed an automatic surcharge that the driver will have to pay for three years after the date of conviction:
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or a DWI-related offense
  • First Conviction - $1,000 annual surcharge
  • Second or subsequent Conviction - $1,500 annual surcharge
  • DWI with Blood Alcohol Content .16 or greater - $2,000 annual surcharge
  • Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (auto liability insurance)
  • $250 annual surcharge
  • Driving While License Invalid
  • $250 annual surcharge
  • Driving without a Valid License (i.e.; No Driver License, No Commercial Driver License, No Endorsement Violation, No Motorcycle License, Operate with License for other Class Vehicle)
  • $100 annual surcharge
Surcharges are cumulative, for example:

A driver convicted of DWI pays an annual surcharge of $1,000. That driver is subsequently convicted of Driving While License Invalid and must now pay $250 in addition to the $1000 for the DWI conviction.

Drivers have 30 days to pay the annual surcharge or face suspension of their license until all the charges have been paid. Some drivers may be eligible for an installment plan that allows them to pay their surcharge over a longer period.

Point Removal

Texas allows one ticket in a 12 month period to be dismissed if the driver attends an approved Defensive Driving Course with certain exceptions:
  • You must not possess a commercial drivers license (CDL).

  • You must admit guilt and sign a statement that you do not contest the ticket.
  • If cited for speeding, you must not have been speeding more than 25 mph over the posted speed limit.


You must receive permission from the court to attend the TX defensive driving course in order to have the points dismissed so make sure you contact the court prior to registering for the course. The court having jurisdiction over your ticket may require a fee to take the course and a fee to obtain a copy of your driving record in addition to the cost of the course itself.

You cannot use a certificate of attendance from a Defensive Driving Course that you attended previously for ticket dismissal. You must attend the course after conviction for the offense in order to have the ticket dismissed.

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